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Microsoft wants to get Windows XP below 10% by April 2014

Microsoft has hatched a plan to get resellers to help wean customers off Windows XP by April 2014. Windows XP currently holds the second largest percentage of the computer operating system market right below Windows 7. According to Net Applications, Windows XP holds 37.17% of the operating system market while Windows 7 holds 44.37%.

Microsoft is reminding resellers and customers that there is less than a year left until all support for Windows XP is stopped. On April 8, 2014, Windows XP will no longer receive patches or updates including critical security updates. Moving consumers from Windows XP to a newer version of Windows is reportedly one of Microsoft's top priorities for its fiscal 2014, which began on July 1.


That could be a tall order for Microsoft since the software giant and its partners would reportedly need to migrate 586,000 computers per day over the next 273 days to eliminate all machines running Windows XP.

Microsoft is rolling out several programs, offers, and tools to encourage users to leave Windows XP behind. Those programs include Accelerate where Microsoft will pay some reseller and integrator partners to create a proof of concept Metro-style apps to help lure customers to Windows 8. Microsoft is also going to extend the program call Get to Modern aimed at small and medium businesses.
 
It was reported earlier this month that Windows 8 market share just finally crept ahead of the unloved Windows Vista operating system.

Source: ZDNet



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Updating to Win 7
By ainarm on 7/10/2013 9:16:08 AM , Rating: 2
The problem in most businesses is not a lack of desire to go to Win 7 or 8, but the fact that there are to many legacy apps that just will not work on a 64 bit OS in use in their infrastructure. And in some cases there is no upgrade path available. In my company we use software more major companies that have told us they expect a 64 bit compatible version of some software within the next 2 years.




RE: Updating to Win 7
By karimtemple on 7/10/2013 9:23:26 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 has a 32-bit version.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By MichalT on 7/10/2013 10:10:39 AM , Rating: 5
It's more complex than that. Windows Vista introduced a new driver model; any app that had a custom driver for XP will not work on Vista or above without a re-write of that portion. This includes anything that had custom or low volume hardware, or specialized software. Also there are random incompatibilities that make old apps just not function. A large percentage of those old computers are likely just not capable of running a modern OS; businesses will not throw them away if they're not broken and there's no change in worker productivity. And even if they are compatible, why spend the time to format a drive and start over?


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Mitch101 on 7/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Updating to Win 7
By Motoman on 7/10/2013 11:41:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If anyone is not running Windows 7 over XP its laziness or incompetence.


Um, no. Chances are they just have a firm grasp on reality, and realize that at best it's not worth the effort.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Dorkyman on 7/10/2013 1:14:13 PM , Rating: 4
For us it's not so much "not worth the effort," it's just that XP simply does the job. It's stable, familiar, and universal. There is no reason for us to change.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Motoman on 7/10/2013 2:15:43 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly...ergo, not worth the effort.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Labotomizer on 7/10/2013 3:37:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's a case by case basis. At this point you should have migrated to programs that will work with Win 7. But again, XP is "good enough". And if you're thinking about deploying VDI to keep support for legacy programs then it makes even less sense to upgrade, since VDI will perform the same no matter what platform you're running it from.

Windows will always be Windows' biggest competitor.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By maugrimtr on 7/12/2013 4:23:42 AM , Rating: 2
To those saying leaving XP is not worth the effort - you do realise that the end of XP support will mean the end of all critical security updates, right? If 35-40% of the market remains in that position, hackers will have a field day stealing business, user and financial information.

Our own strategy where I work was to replace incompatible software back in early 2012 (development/tendering on alternatives kicked off in 2011) so we're well on the way to an August rollout across hundreds of PCs. We even managed to ditch some ancient 90s era systems that (no kidding) ran under DOS.

Anyone suggesting businesses remain on XP after April 2014 is either incompetent or doesn't own a business I ever want to have dealings with.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By seamonkey79 on 7/17/2013 2:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Our company (Forbes top 25) is in the middle of a rollout for our 88,000+ computers. What some people need to realize is the millions and millions involved in testing everything to make sure that all 88,000+ employees are still able to do their jobs takes more than the couple of days for me to find new software for anything that stopped working when I installed it on my home computer.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By retrospooty on 7/10/2013 12:02:59 PM , Rating: 3
"If anyone is not running Windows 7 over XP its laziness or incompetence."

If your company is using software that simply wont work on 7, it could be attributed to cost. We don't have that issue where I work, and we have plenty money to upgrade but not all companies are in that boat. Some are unable to get rid of legacy software what only runs on XP because they don't have the budget to get on to a better system... So they cant upgrade all PC's to 7 (which is also a cost).

I am a systems admin at a 500+ user company and we have all but a few old timers in remote offices off of XP. of our 99% on 7, probably 90% of it is 64bit and we are good to go. We will NOT be going to Windows 8 ever, as long as the start screen is as it is now. Windows 8 will simply not happen until is is better suited for non-touchscreen computers.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By dgingerich on 7/10/2013 12:53:27 PM , Rating: 5
I agree with him. IT managers who stick with older OSes (and this has happened a lot in the past, I've seen it many times in my 16 year career) past the term of support are incompetent. They are either incompetent in defining their budget, incompetent in deciding the company to supply their software and/or hardware, or incompetent in running their department in general.

I've seen far too many IT managers who are afraid to put forward to manager that their software and hardware need to move forward. A company stuck on old hardware will fail, and any IT manager who lets that happen, getting their company stuck to the point that they can't upgrade and can't get replacement parts and can't work with newer apps and hardware, will be blamed, justifiably, for letting it happen. IT managers keep the momentum for change. That's part of the job. If a company doesn't change and adapt to new conditions, it becomes paralyzed, and then they lose the ability to keep doing business. I've seen that happen many times to small businesses.

I've also seen far too many IT managers decide on a vendor based on who brings them golfing more often, or who gives them more marketing fluff or gifts, (I had one manager who decided on a VoIP phone system solely on the one company that sent him a bottle of scotch) or based on who sent them the most help in the migration. While the last one does have some value back to the company, that is not a good reason to choose a vendor. The best reason to choose a vendor is for who will be the best to support the product into the future, giving bug fixes and updates as well as having updated equipment or software that will work with future operating systems. Even for custom software sources, look for a company that is willing to support the product into the future. A company that would write the program you want, but won't supply bug fixes or future updates for future operating systems is a totally incompetent company. Don't use them. Find one that will supply this future support. It will cost more, there's no doubt about that, but it will save a lot in the long run. It's a better bet to hire the people to develop and maintain the software in house. That's expensive, too, but it keeps your future intact and is actually cheaper than totally custom software, over the long run.

Finally, I have seen far too many IT managers who just go for the 'now' and just troubleshoot, reacting, instead of running the department for the long run, anticipating the future trouble and growth, and keeping the company ahead of the curve. I've seen two small businesses (one marketing company and one fashion company) and one fairly large business (400+ employee health care company with three hospitals in Chicago) fail completely because their IT management wound up getting them stuck with old hardware and software, eventually causing their company (in the case of the big company, the accounting department) unable to do their work because of failed hardware or software.

(In the case of the large health care company, they fired their entire helpdesk and the IT manager for being unable to keep their accounting software working on an old IBM mainframe that hadn't been supported for almost a decade when it failed. Of course, they kept their mainframe development people and went back to an IBM mainframe, out of date even before they began, to get it working again, but they spent so much on a failing system, the company folded a little over a year later. If they had just moved to, what was current back then, an Oracle or SAP database accounting system, they would have saved millions in development costs and had a system that would have stayed current for another decade.)

So, in short, it is IT management making decisions looking toward the future that prevents these things from even coming up. Incompetent managers look to the 'now' and cause problems like this. A good IT manager can come in and see these things developing and turn the tide from killing the company. I've seen it happen.

Unfortunately, in my case, I just had authority over a couple test labs, and while I was able to turn the tide there, and get us into a professional, well cared for lab with the future in mind, I could not save my company from the future. I'm now watching it fall apart around me, with a layoff of 200+ people last October, another 30 in March, and now another 190. It could have been prevented, but management was only looking at maintaining the status quo. Now we're stuck, reliant on a shrinking market, our competitors moved to another sector long ago, and our attempts to catch up at least 5 years out of date. This company will die soon.

It's a shame, we used to be one of the IT titans back in the late 80s and 90s, with our name and our product's name on every IT manager's lips, supplying OEM stuff to other big vendors.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By retrospooty on 7/10/2013 2:05:08 PM , Rating: 2
WOW.... That is a long one. Like I said, we dont have that issue and are 99% Win7... Our servers are all fairly new as well. We do the standard 5 year lifecycle... But it's not always up to the IT management. If the company is small with no decent budget and is using some legacy software they bought a decade ago that has no updates, and a replacement software is a ridiculous amount of $$$ and upper management simply doesn't have the cash, there is no choice for IT. Broke = broke. Alot of smaller companies are hurting. It's not necessarily due to incompetence, sometimes businesses struggle in the real world.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Motoman on 7/10/2013 2:20:03 PM , Rating: 4
It's almost never "up to" IT management.

CIO: We need a budget to develop a replacement for all these old DOS programs we've been running on for 30 years.

CEO: They still work. Denied.

My first job out of college was as a programmer working on a project to replace a program made in the 70s that was supposed to be only temporarily used until the "real" program got made. Which supported the largest LOB the company had. The problem was that the "temporary" program worked. Ergo, it "temporarily" was in use for about 20 years.

As IT, you're not going to get budget to replace things that work. Even if they're ancient. Companies aren't in business to keep their IT tech up to date - they're in business to make money, and the BOD isn't going to approve requests for money to replace things that are still working.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Mitch101 on 7/10/2013 2:46:49 PM , Rating: 3
Sad but True the wrong people are making the decisions.

Upgrades are generally easy and supported by vendors. Vendors usually have a maintenance fee which is much lower than repurchasing a product. When they miss too many updates now It becomes a project with massive planning and training. Often times there is a premium for support of legacy equipment and things must be built in parallel and not upgraded doubling many costs. In a lot of cases it then cant be managed internally and here comes the contract services to get upgraded further multiplying the costs.

If they dont pay it on the front end they further delay, complicate, and skyrocket the cost to upgrade.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By retrospooty on 7/10/2013 4:42:15 PM , Rating: 2
"Upgrades are generally easy and supported by vendors. Vendors usually have a maintenance fee which is much lower than repurchasing a product. When they miss too many updates now It becomes a project with massive planning and training"

That is basically true but you arent looking at the whole picture. You are assuming the vendor still exists and/or support the product. Many companies are running previously purchased software that is very old and wont run on 7. In many cases the software vendor is either gone from existence, or simply doesn't support the product any longer. If it is working and the cost is too high some companies simply wont move. 2 years ago, my sister was working at a Wells Fargo regional office. They bught a smaller bank that was still using MS-DOS on some of their PC's for some legacy software that they must have purchased in the early 1990's. In 2011 - MS DOS, I kid you not.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Motoman on 7/10/2013 6:35:52 PM , Rating: 3
The problem with the DOS program they had was probably that there was no problem with it. Probably did exactly what they needed to do...so no need to upgrade.

I have a number of small local businesses that I support (think like auto repair shops and such). A new one that I just started working with has an aging XP machine that is starting to act like it's going to die, so they want a replacement...the problem lies in the fact that the specialty software package they run their business on is DOS. And won't run on anything newer than XP.

Why are they still on the DOS version? Well, for one thing, there's nothing wrong with it. It is 100% perfect for their needs. Secondly, the software vendor is actually still in business, and has a new version available that's fully built for Win7 - but it's like $15,000. That's a big bill for a small, single-store business to swallow. To replace a program that works perfectly for them as it is...in DOS. From a business standpoint, that $15,000 outlay will get them *nothing*.

So...if I can't get the old DOS thing to work in Win7, I'll see if I can get it going in XP mode. If for some reason that doesn't even work, I'll probably be tracking down an XP license to build them a *new* computer with XP on it. Because otherwise, they're going to be throwing $15,000 down the toilet and getting nothing of value from it.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Tucci78 on 7/12/2013 10:46:13 PM , Rating: 2
"Sad but True the wrong people are making the decisions."

The CEOs are the people with the "drop dead" responsibility for getting business operations conducted under budget.

If the Chief Information Officers (CIOs) were the ones given the authority, the computer and other communications systems would work spectacularly while the company went bankrupt.

This is the reason why maritime Chief Engineers don't take the conn aboard ships at sea.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By dsumanik on 7/17/2013 3:11:46 AM , Rating: 1
lol, gimme a break,

go talk to that same ceo when his email wont work or he cant print the friday before deadline...temper tantrum crybaby spaz.

Better yet, hide his smartphone....they'll be happy to spend some money then.

One of the best things I ever did as an IT manager was price out, pre-order (got qoutes but no payment) then simply unplugged the accounting department from accpac for dos... the day before a cheque run. I let it sit till monday so everyone had a panic attack then "fixed" the scenario...and unplugged it twice more over the next week for good measure, then put forward the prices in a meeting with the accounting manager, and general manager.

2 weeks later the entire finance department was on a new system, and praising me as a hero, I havent had a hiccup since and they can now upgrade through sage indefinitely.

you gotta do the same thing with servers sometimes in small businesses, theyll let em run for 15 years and then balk at a 5000 dollar upgrade.

Rip the bandaid off quick, before it gets infected.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Hairyfeet on 7/11/2013 5:21:19 PM , Rating: 2
That is why I gave up working corporate and now work strictly with consumers and SMB/SOHOs because while the pay isn't as good at least i'm not bashing my head against the desk every day. The line in Under Siege about "Having to find solutions to impossible problems caused by other people" sadly is pretty much SOP for most corporate IT, at least where I was at.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Tucci78 on 7/12/2013 10:52:51 PM , Rating: 2
"As IT, you're not going to get budget to replace things that work. Even if they're ancient. Companies aren't in business to keep their IT tech up to date - they're in business to make money, and the BOD isn't going to approve requests for money to replace things that are still working."

The aphorism which Microsoft management has been missing since their decision to implement Vista? Runs like so:

Better is the enemy of good enough.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Mitch101 on 7/10/2013 2:33:30 PM , Rating: 2
Thankyou and Well Said.

Ill tack on Companies having to pay a premium to have support for OS's that have been retired because they arent moving forward.

Upgrading to Windows 7 everyone is more productive and many more people are provided with multiple screens allowing increased productivity for clients and admins. I dread thinking about finding my apps at the bottom of Windows XP or living without snap.

Stability is higher with Windows 7 over XP as well and much less time is spent troubleshooting client issues.

There is a lot to love and appreciate about Windows XP its been a great run but Windows 7 is the new XP.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By JediJeb on 7/10/2013 7:47:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Stability is higher with Windows 7 over XP as well and much less time is spent troubleshooting client issues.


I have computers still with WinNT and WinXP that run for over a year at a time without being rebooted, how much more stable can you get with W7?

My W7 laptop nags me each weekend that it has been over 7 days since I last rebooted, is it that much less stable that it needs rebooting each week?


RE: Updating to Win 7
By JediJeb on 7/10/2013 3:01:56 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
I agree with him. IT managers who stick with older OSes (and this has happened a lot in the past, I've seen it many times in my 16 year career) past the term of support are incompetent. They are either incompetent in defining their budget, incompetent in deciding the company to supply their software and/or hardware, or incompetent in running their department in general.


So you are saying that when an IT person can not upgrade a Windows XP, or WindowsNT or Windows95 computer because that $500 computer is connected to a $100,000 piece of equipment that would have to be replaced to allow replacement of that computer they are incompetent?

If our IT guy went to the boss and said "You need to spend $1,000,000 because we are going to move these 10 machines off of XP" our IT guy would be looking for a new job. What he can do that shows he is worth his salary is make those older machines integrate with everything else in the building, which is no easy task.

We did finally convince management last year to spend a few hundred thousand to upgrade some of the last less expensive pieces of equipment to more modern versions so we could get rid of the last few that were totally dependent on WinNT. We managed to do this because the interface cards fit into ISA slots and we simply told them they don't make new computers with that interface anymore so if one of those computers died we would be dead in the water for four pieces of equipment until we could purchase them new. Only the potential loss of that much productivity forced their hands.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By chick0n on 7/10/13, Rating: 0
RE: Updating to Win 7
By retrospooty on 7/10/2013 2:09:47 PM , Rating: 2
"that simply means you have never worked in a true "oh big name corporations""

Or in IT at all, large or small company.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Hairyfeet on 7/11/2013 5:11:25 PM , Rating: 1
First of all if you believe those numbers i got a bridge you might be interested in, Win 7 stinks on ice with less than 2GB, it ends up hitting the swap too much. That said if you have 2GB or better it runs great on older hardware, I slapped it on my GF's Pentium D desktop and other than replacing the IGP with an HD2400 pro (cost $8) it took to it like a duck to water.

But I'm afraid you are wrong about VPC/VMWare, i have seen enough programs choke and puke on VMs that i no longer even try those but instead will set the customer up with a dual boot if they need it. For an example i have a graphic artist that probably has a good 3 grand sunk into Macromedia Xres counting all the plug-ins and while this program runs great on XP it dies hard on Win 7 and on a VM, no matter what I tweaked it just would not run stable in a VM. Finally since he needed access to it AND the newer stuff he had in Win 7 I sold him a KVM switch along with an old Athlon 64 system I had in the back so he can just drag and drop between the 2 thanks to the private network I set up and just switch back and forth.

So I'm sorry but VMs just aren't a cure all, in fact in my experience they often end up more trouble than they are worth.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By yuhong on 7/11/2013 2:16:25 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 32-bit don't break all XP drivers.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Guimar on 7/11/2013 12:30:00 PM , Rating: 2
This why I have to keep a Win XP PC,
I have 2 HP Plotters
an HP2000CP which has now Vista or Win 7 Drivers available from HP and Z3200PS,
which has flaky windows Vista and Windows 7 drivers.
Some graphics files only print correctly from XP.
Widnows 7 also has a prblem with thinking that the printer has disappearred and losing the printer settings after large prints. Other files (usually REALLY big ones) only print right from windows 7.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Samus on 7/10/2013 3:30:51 PM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 32-bit runs just about everything Windows XP does. I've run 15 year old accounting problems under Windows 7 32 and the only complications are sorting print drivers and some legacy settings.

The real problem is there is no upgrade path to Windows 7 from XP. You can't just drop in a disc and click upgrade. However, you could in Vista, which uses the same core architecture as Windows 7, so Microsoft screwed themselves here.

The only easy way to upgrade a PC from XP to Windows 7 is to upgrade to Vista first. But because Vista takes forever to install, this is a very time consuming process.

Microsoft shot themselves in the foot here. If they wanted to migrate XP users forward, they should have made it easy. If Vista can upgrade XP, why can't Windows 7?


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Hairyfeet on 7/11/2013 5:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't help in a lot of cases sadly, try loading one of the older versions of Quickbooks (which can easily cost 2 or 3 times the cost of the PC per license) on win 7 32bit and see how far you get.

But MSFT needs to get its head out of its rear and stop trying to push metro on the desktop, myself with many other retailers have stopped carrying Win 8 in our shops because folks will take a PC with half the power that is running Win 7, Metro is a giant DO NOT WANT. I mean if MSFT designed a version of Windows that ONLY ran well on polka dot PCs you'd think they were nuts,right? well less than 2% of PCs ON THE PLANET are touch so they may as well made it for polka dot PCs!

And let me end by saying MSFT is their own worst enemy in this case, as I have been upgrading folks PCs to Win 7 with the coming XP shutoff and you'd be surprised how much hardware does NOT have a working Win 7 driver! Very common ATI and Nvidia chipsets, common soundchips, common ethernet, there is a LOT of hardware that doesn't have a driver that works under Win 7 and we are talking Athlon X2s and Core Duos, there should be no need to toss a system that runs great just because MSFT can't provide basic working drivers through WU. right now I'm struggling with a VERY nice C2D laptop which it looks like I'm gonna end up having to install XP on it just so I can upgrade the firmware on the DVD burner so Win 7 will recognize it, even though it worked perfectly under XP and Vista.

I swear you are your own worse enemy MSFT, and if you don't stop trying to shove Metro down our throats I'm gonna start pointing people to ChromeBooks and macbooks.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By AlvinCool on 7/10/2013 9:26:03 AM , Rating: 2
That's about the size of it. But lets not forget the industrial aspect of this. The majority of industrial contnrollers collecting data from PLC's are XP and are not upgradable. Tons of testing centers are based on XP and are not upgradable due to timing constraints. I know of several imaging setups that are 50K and up that are not upgradable from XP. And with our economy can you really expect a massive number of low end PC's to be thrown out?


RE: Updating to Win 7
By AMDftw on 7/10/2013 9:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
I know of a few places that still have Win98 just to run their PLC. Siemens, Copper power and Allen Bradley are a couple i know of. Siemens has gotten some over their software to work in Win7. Ex-Employee of Atlas copco, we did a lot of work with PLC and using 3rd party PLC software. AC has converted over to Win7 for that. Not quite as stable but it works and over time it will get better.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Donkey2008 on 7/11/2013 5:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
Amen. Worked at a company using Allen Bradley equipment managed on WinXP workstations. When upgrade time came, the IT dept solution was to run XP mode in Windows 7. It sucked to setup and it sucked for the users, who just want to work on the PLCs, not figure out how to manage 2 operating systems. Wish they would have just left them on XP. It wasn't hurting anything.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By kattanna on 7/10/2013 10:06:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And with our economy can you really expect a massive number of low end PC's to be thrown out?


Im not really sure the economy has as much to do with it as if it is still working for people, why replace it?

most of those people still on an old XP box.. outside of the business world, probably look at the computer the same as they do their washing machine.. its a utility device that gets replaced when it breaks


RE: Updating to Win 7
By japlha on 7/10/2013 10:40:39 AM , Rating: 2
And many businesses look at their IT from this aspect as well. IT is a set of tools that does something for the business. The business doesn't care about the software that is running. If it accomplishes a task and is profitable then that's all that matters.
A flashy touchscreen focused GUI isn't going to be a good enough reason to "upgrade" to Windows 8.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By inighthawki on 7/10/2013 11:13:53 AM , Rating: 2
I think the primary concern most businesses would have for upgrading machines are for security purposes. If your XP box is connected to any important data on the local intranet, it should be upgraded, since it is just not safe to be using. It may work and be profitable but it puts you at risk to lose much more.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By crispbp04 on 7/10/2013 10:25:56 AM , Rating: 2
scada machines are generally not publicly exposed, so they are not a target to be removed from XP. XP for static disconnected solutions won't go away. We still use Intellution FIX32 from 1995 running on XP machines at one of our facilities


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Motoman on 7/10/2013 10:08:20 AM , Rating: 2
It's not necessarily even just 32-bit vs. 64-bit...there are XP applications that don't run on 32-bit Win7, for whatever reasons...probably calling old libraries and whatnot that don't exist anymore.

And believe it or not, there's still companies that rely on some old DOS applications...that will run on XP, but nothing newer. Or they might be reliant on some old hardware, for which there are no drivers made past XP. And I don't mean like a bog-standard parallel port printer necessarily.

At the end of the day, the irrepressible fact of the matter is that there's nothing "wrong" with XP. Sure, you can make it suck...if you're an idiot. But idiots can make any OS suck. The *vast* majority of users aren't going to gain anything that's useful to them by leaving XP and going to anything newer.

...so an awful lot of people/companies are going to just run on XP until something happens that's so bad that they just simply *have* to move in order to survive.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By epobirs on 7/10/2013 11:36:19 PM , Rating: 2
There are several major reasons some software fails on Windows versions after XP.

16-bit installers. An absurd number of companies sold 32-bit upgrades of their products while keeping the same installer they bought a decade ago, and kept using it for years to follow. 16-bit support goes away and you can't install the software anymore.

Illegal registry usage. Intuit was a huge offender in this area. Back when XP first shipped, Microsoft released a book of developer guidelines, with the promise that software that played by the rules should still work for many years. But these were guide lines and not enforced laws, so a lot of developers just did whatever they found convenient. Such as using the registry in way that Microsoft always warned against because it greatly increased the probability of an error mangling the registry.

Now, plenty of other operating systems would never have allowed such behavior but those tended to be products that started on big machines and worked their way down as small machines became more capable, the opposite of the anything goes world where Microsoft got its start. But by the time Vista was in development they knew they'd made a big mistake not having the OS better protect itself against Stupid Developer Tricks. So Vista started a new policy of enforcing rule that had previously been merely recommendations.

All well and good and long overdue. But a crapload of stuff didn't play by the rules and a lot of it was vertical apps with few competitors and critical to the businesses that used it. I know of one medical app that single handedly kept thousands of small businesses, which relied on it for Medicare billing that makes up over 80% of their revenue, from buying new machines with an OS more recent than XP. A few have used XP Mode on Windows 7 but most are highly budget constrained, so they tend to think of a $200 refurb as a new machine for their users.

Badly written software has been a goldmine for the refurb outfits that can supply 'new' XP systems.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By morfraen on 7/11/2013 5:44:22 AM , Rating: 2
You don't need DOS to run DOS applications. You don't need a 16 or 32bit OS to run 16 or 32 bit applications. You don't even need ISA or parallel or any other legacy ports on a new PC if 1 end of the connection simply can't be changed.

Once security updates stop running XP will become an even bigger liability than it already is.

These companies need to think in terms of replacing the functionality of a system rather than insisting on carrying forward so much ancient legacy hardware and software. When you add up maintenance, lost productivity and everything else, staying with the legacy systems is probably much more expensive than tossing it all and joining the modern age.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By JediJeb on 7/11/2013 2:02:16 PM , Rating: 2
This may hold true for an office running word processors and spread sheets and such. Do you know of any adapter that can allow an ISA slot HPIB cable interface to work with a modern computer? Or how to make software that will refuse to install on anything above XP SP2 to install on W7?

I work in a small laboratory where we watch every penny we spend, and we are now having to trash hundreds of thousands of machines that work perfectly even though they are old just because we can not afford to have the computer they are attached to fail unexpectedly. The three we replaced last fall were $75k each for new ones, and the only problem with the ones they replaced was they were attached to one 400mhz PII running WinNT4 with an ISA interface.

The new systems are running on new computers with W7, core i5 processors and literally we have no gained productivity coming from the faster more modern computer. It still takes 30 minutes for the machine to analyze a sample and 5 seconds to calculate the results(well maybe we gain a second on the calculation step, but most of that happens at night while no one is here).

As far as security updates are concerned, nothing gained for us there either, these machines (NT, 2K, 95, W7) all run with updates turned off because an update can stop them from functioning. We had to scrap one computer once when it updated from XP SP2 to SP3 and load the software on another SP2 computer we had. Also if the computers are not tied to the internet and there is physical security in place to control who has access to the computer how is it going to be compromised if it doesn't have security updates?

quote:
When you add up maintenance, lost productivity and everything else, staying with the legacy systems is probably much more expensive than tossing it all and joining the modern age.


Not when upgrading one computer costs us 3 X $75K. That would require a heck of a lot of gained productivity to recoup, and as far as maintenance on that computer, dusting it off once in a while and a defrag once a year doesn't cost much, which is about the only maintenance it had done to it in over ten years.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Hairyfeet on 7/11/2013 6:01:59 PM , Rating: 2
Uhhh...if you guys are watching every penny why didn't you just get some NOS systems to back up the Pentium II? I have a lumber company with a $80K+ lathe that only runs on DOS 3 with an ISA card, i built them 2 PIIs using NOS parts (if you look there are plenty of places that sell NOS where they replace the caps and make the boards as new, they can be as high as $400 depending on the board but $400 is a heck of a lot less than $75K) and two spares for those in a climate controlled closet in the front office so i have NO doubt it'll keep on going as long as the lathe will.

So if you really want to save those systems look into NOS, its really not hard to isolate them from the outside world with a VLAN and if you are running a lab its not like they need net access anyway,right?


RE: Updating to Win 7
By CaedenV on 7/10/2013 10:31:16 AM , Rating: 2
well... sort of.
I understand that there are several places where XP is required. I mean, just look at all of the POS terminals and virtual terminals running embedded XP at various stores, businesses, and hospitals. That equipment is simply not going to run win7, and it would be a major financial and logistical undertaking to flip that whole network all at once. Plus there will always be the occasional specialty device that will only run a legacy OS.

But when you consider the masses of individuals still on XP, and small to medium businesses that simply do not upgrade because they simply do not see the need to. I am not sure they need to move to Windows 8, but it would be smart for them to move to something more secure and modern than XP.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By damianrobertjones on 7/10/2013 10:48:41 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 XP Mode.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Motoman on 7/10/2013 11:43:37 AM , Rating: 2
Running XP mode in Win7 doesn't fix anything. It's still XP, and it's still vulnerable to everything that XP is/will be vulnerable to. All you've done there is gone through the expense to upgrade your machines to Win7, but now you have to support 2 OSs on each PC, and have gained nothing in terms of performance, security, etc.

The rational option is to just stay with XP.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By althaz on 7/10/2013 9:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
No. The rational option is to only use XP mode for the few things that require XP - certainly don't allow internet access from XP. Allowing internet access from XP machines is EXACTLY THE SAME as randomly disabling every security feature your network has.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Motoman on 7/11/2013 12:47:01 AM , Rating: 2
Uh-huh. Right. That's *exactly* the same thing.

Of course the problem is when the thing you need to run in XP mode requires network access. Or internet access - either way. *Boom.*

It's on the internet.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By apexwm on 7/10/2013 11:43:55 AM , Rating: 2
The entire situation with 64-bit in Windows in a joke. The fact is, 32-bit Windows on desktops can't address more than 4 GB of memory. However, this is a flaw with Windows, not the hardware. 32-bit Linux can address over 4 GB of memory just fine. So, the entire 32-bit to 64-bit migration is only necessary if you are using Windows. Other operating systems you can continue to use old or new hardware, stay in 32-bit mode, and ensure compatibility with legacy applications.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Argon18 on 7/10/2013 11:52:08 AM , Rating: 2
True, intel solved the over-4GB memory limit on 32 bit many years ago, back in the 1990's. It's called PAE. 32 bit Linux has always supported it.

Windows however is a different story. Microsoft implemented PAE only in the "data center" and "advanced server" editions of windows, while purposely crippling the basic server and desktop versions, capping them at 4 GB. But then again, crippled Microsoft products are nothing new.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Hairyfeet on 7/11/2013 6:14:48 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry I'm throwing a flag, BS on the field. The ONLY reason Linux can access more than 4GB of RAM is that nobody cares about backwards compatibility on that system and Torvalds busted driver model means the drivers are gonna break regardless so adding PAE wasn't a problem as the few OEMs that support Linux HAVE to put out new drivers constantly.

If you can manage to get a hold of a copy there are beta builds of both 2K and XP that had PAE enabled by default but what MSFT found was a LOT of drivers and programs simply ignored the guidelines MSFT had put out for memory access and if they enabled PAE the drivers and programs would trash themselves. I got to play with the PAE enabled XP and I can tell you that pretty much only MSFT and Intel drivers worked, everybody else would choke and croak. this is why you have so much that would run on XP not run on Vista/7, because MSFT put their foot down and made the guidelines mandatory (which frankly they should have done with XP) and all those companies that played fast and loose found their stuff no longer working.

But you really can't compare Linux and Windows as its two totally different markets, with Linux you have companies having to spend millions to constantly update drivers thanks to a lack of an ABI (the ONLY OS out there that doesn't have an ABI BTW, everybody else including FOSS OSes BSD and OpenSolaris have ABIs and thus their drivers keep working after multiple updates) whereas with Windows depending on the vendor you'll be lucky to get 2 driver updates because they know Windows isn't gonna trash the drivers.

Now personally I prefer the Windows driver model where I can have a system run for nearly a decade without a single update borking a driver but that is really up to you which you prefer, but lack of PAE wasn't the fault of MSFT, it was the fault of all those that refused to follow the guideline.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Argon18 on 7/10/2013 11:45:58 AM , Rating: 1
Why is Microsoft so late to the 64 bit party? Apple went 64-bit in 2006, and then 64-bit-only in 2009. Linux has had 64 bit builds since the 1990's, on the DEC Alpha, and while 32 bit Linux is still offered, 64-bit has been the defacto standard for years.

Also, OSX and Linux have no trouble at all running older 32 bit software. All the old 32 bit libraries are included to make it work smoothly. Why is 32 bit apps on a 64 bit OS such a problem for Microsoft??


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Jammrock on 7/10/2013 1:51:53 PM , Rating: 3
You're not entirely accurate, Argon18.

Windows XP and 2003 both have/had 64-bit options. 2003 64-bit (AMD64 or x86-64) was launched in April 2003 and 64-bit XP was launched in 2005. Long before Apple went 64-bit. Linux technically beat Windows to market with x864-64 support, but considering the first x86-64 processor was not released until Server 2003 hit the market it is kind of a moot point.

Every consumer Windows OS since (Vista and newer) has had a 32-bit and 64-bit option at launch. The only common issue with 32-bit applications on 64-bit Windows these days are rare cases where a program requires a driver that is 32-bit only. And of course legacy systems that don't support x86-64, but that effects every OS. All new OEM systems have been required to install 64-bit by default for some time now as I recall.

Starting with Windows Server 2008 R2 the entire Microsoft server environment went 64-bit. Other people can make 32-bit apps for Server 2008 R2+, but Microsoft server products are 64-bit.

If you want to go back to the pre-x86-64 days, there are 64-bit Intel Itanium builds of Windows Server 2003 as well. 64-bit DEC Alpha builds were scrapped in favor of Itanium support. There were 32-bit DEC Alpha builds for Windows though.

The main problem with migrating from XP/2003 to 7+/2008 R2+ has to do with cost. Many companies have to certify applications for new operating systems in the business and government worlds. Validation and certification takes a huge amount of time and it costs tons of money. If a lot of code updates are required to make an app certified for a new OS it costs even more money.

On top of that you have the cost of deploying the new OS. Upgrading the hardware to support the new OS. Migrating data costs. Learning curves that incur training costs. New license costs. And all the labor costs, both in IT staff and lost productivity, it takes to make that happen.

Take in to account that many enterprises have dozens to hundreds of different applications in use across their business divisions, and tens to hundreds of thousands of employees, and it can costs tens to hundreds of millions of dollars to change an operating system. It's a cost no business wants to incur.

This is one of the reasons why XP has been so prominent in businesses for so long. And to be honest, 11 years of support for an OS is a long time. Think of what kind of hardware you were running in 2001 and 2002 and you'll realize a lot has changed since then. Most OS makers stop support after 3 to 5 years, or less. Ubuntu is 5 for LTS releases I know. Not sure what the other support models are.

Disclosure: As many DailyTech users know I am a Microsoft employee. The above post is not an official PR spiel, just my personal opinion. I've been in IT for over 15 years and very little of that with Microsoft.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By retrospooty on 7/10/2013 4:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
"You're not entirely accurate, Argon18.

Windows XP and 2003 both have/had 64-bit options. 2003 64-bit (AMD64 or x86-64) was launched in April 2003 and 64-bit XP was launched in 2005. Long before Apple went 64-bit. "


Exactly.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Gondor on 7/10/2013 5:58:24 PM , Rating: 2
Some might argue that Linux was able to beat Windows to 64-bit release due to its support of other 64-bit architectures a decade earlier (once the code is cleaned up to compile correctly on either 32-bit or 64-bit platform it is much easier to port to any other 64-bit system) ...

But Microsoft had their opportunity to support 64-bit hardware as well when they went ahead with Windows NT/2000 ports for Alpha, MIPS, PPC and other architectures, they were just too daft to seize the opportunity, as always.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By greenchinesepuck on 7/10/2013 2:04:27 PM , Rating: 2
Hey idiot, did you know that Windows XP 64-bit for Itanium has been released in 2001 when your poor 32-bit Linux sucked off everyone else?


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Gondor on 7/10/2013 6:03:01 PM , Rating: 2
Linux had support for 64-bit Alpha AXP since 1994 and a distribution available for this same target since 1995. Many other 64-bit platforms were supported by 2000.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By aicom on 7/10/2013 3:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
32-bit applications run perfectly fine on 64-bit versions of Windows (assuming they don't do stupid undocumented s*** and even then they still may work). Microsoft includes both 32-bit and 64-bit libraries in 64-bit builds of Windows as well. It's the DOS and 16-bit applications that are the problem.

NTVDM (which handles 16-bit executables) heavily uses a feature of x86 protected mode called Virtual 8086 mode. This is essentially like a hardware-virtualized 8086 real-mode CPU that retains support for many protected-mode features like memory protection (invisible to the real-mode program). This is much lighter weight and easier than doing full software emulation (like DOSBox), because the hardware handles most of the overhead for you.

When AMD was designing the x86_64 specification, they purposefully left out support for virtual 8086 mode in long mode. This meant that 16-bit compatibility would have needed to be rewritten for 64-bit versions of Windows.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By KOOLTIME on 7/10/2013 12:03:54 PM , Rating: 2
Every business will be moving away from XP to win 7 or later OS types ( even other brands soon ).

XP is dead, pretty much, as its not compatible with everyone's "NEW" cell phones that are taking over the world replacing the traditional desktop PC. Which is why PC sales across the board are in decline due to most folks just use there modern cell phone for most of their days work.

Businesses that have apps that only work on XP wont be around much longer, as nobody is going to want to use something that wont be accessible on their new phone.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By 91TTZ on 7/10/2013 2:40:42 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know anybody in an office environment that does work on their phones. They check email but that's about it.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By JediJeb on 7/10/2013 9:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
I hate working on my PC with screens smaller than 22 inch, I can't imagine doing anything with a screen as small as a smart phone. Plus with my fat fingers it would be a nightmare lol.

Of course I would have to get a smartphone first, which I have no desire to get anytime soon.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By Jeffk464 on 7/10/2013 1:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
How about giving people running XP a big discount on win7? Most people are not going to spend much money on a system so old that it came with XP.


RE: Updating to Win 7
By wolrah on 7/12/2013 9:33:43 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
In my company we use software more major companies that have told us they expect a 64 bit compatible version of some software within the next 2 years.


The problem is not the legacy apps, but the lack of forethought by your company and many others to hold their vendors accountable.

64 bit has been the standard we all should be aiming for since the release of the Opteron in the Linux world, since 2003R2 (server) or Vista (client) in the Windows world.

A vendor responding "64 bit is a year or two out" for a client app in 2005 would have been acceptable, mainstream client OSes supporting it were a new thing at that time.

A vendor saying the same thing today is a sign that they don't deserve to exist as a software company, period. There is absolutely NO EXCEPTION for software that is still supported post-2010 to have no support for 64 bit operating systems. There simply isn't an excuse.

To all the developers out there still working on such shithole projects, please find a new job and figure out some way to destroy the product's repositories on the way out. Clearly no one really cares about that product and it needs a redo from scratch anyways, so you'd be doing the world a favor by making sure they can't keep dragging its carcass along any further.

To those in IT claiming there's nothing they can do, why weren't you pressuring your vendors eight years ago when this became an obvious future concern? If you're still waiting on them at this point and haven't found a better alternative, you're part of the problem.

tl;dr: If you can't do modern OSes because of 64 bit, it's the vendor's fault for being lazy fucks, it's your management's fault for not pressuring them years ago, and it's IT's fault for not making sure management understands why they need to be pressuring them and/or looking in to changing platforms for all this time.

Let's not even get started on the fact that people still to this day are using applications that run in MS-DOS. There's just so much wrong there that everyone involved in keeping that alive needs a punch to the face.


"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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